Epididymitis (ep-ih-did-uh-MY-tis) is an inflammation of the coiled tube (epididymis) at the back of the testicle that stores and carries sperm. Males of any age can get epididymitis.
Epididymitis is most often caused by a bacterial infection, including sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as gonorrhea or chlamydia. Sometimes, a testicle also becomes inflamed — a condition called epididymo-orchitis.
Signs and symptoms of epididymitis might include:
Epididymitis that lasts longer than six weeks or that recurs is considered chronic. Symptoms of chronic epididymitis might come on gradually. Sometimes the cause of chronic epididymitis isn't identified.
Never ignore scrotal pain or swelling, which can be caused by a number of conditions. Some of them require immediate treatment to avoid permanent damage.
If scrotal pain is severe, seek emergency treatment. See a doctor if you have discharge from your penis or pain when you urinate.
Causes of epididymitis include:
Male reproductive system Male reproductive system Certain sexual behaviors that can lead to STIs put you at risk of sexually transmitted epididymitis, including having:
Risk factors for nonsexually transmitted epididymitis include:
Complications of epididymitis include:
To help protect against STIs that can cause epididymitis practice safer sex.
If you have recurrent urinary tract infections or other risk factors for epididymitis, your doctor might discuss with you other ways of preventing a recurrence.